Today as I was reading my Bible, I read Mark’s account of the feeding of the 5000. Though I have read and preached from this story many times, still I never cease being amazed by things that transpire in the gospel recording of this event.
The story starts with the compassion of Jesus. John the Baptist has just been martyred and Jesus is seeking to get alone and talk with his Father. Upon hearing that Jesus is in the neighborhood, people quickly make their way to Jesus. I would have sent a spokesperson out to tell the crowd how exhausted I am, and please come back at a more convenient time. When Jesus saw the crowd he had compassion on them because they are like sheep without a shepherd. This should be the attitude of every believer, to see people as Jesus sees them. The main component of being like Jesus is having a compassionate heart for people. When I read this passage I’m confronted with the question: do I see people as Jesus sees them? When tired I want nothing more than being left alone and to get my batteries recharged. Jesus in the same situation looked at people and saw that they were without leadership, in need of help and out of options. To have the same kind of eyes that Jesus has means that I too will be moved with compassion when I see hurting and broken people.
Jesus begins to heal, preaches and teaches and before you know it, it is late and because no one has made provision, dinnertime has passed. No doubt the disciples were getting anxious about the situation, there were thousands of people and they were no doubt hungry. Something should be done and something must be done quickly. With that in mind they approached Jesus and reminded Him that the hour is getting late, the people have been here all day, there are many of them and they are hungry, we must send them home. Jesus turns and looks His disciples in the face and says this: “they don’t need to go away you give them something to eat!” I have tried to imagine on several occasions what must have gone through the disciple’s minds when Jesus said: “you give them something to eat.” I wonder if they thought at first this was a joke or some kind of a test. But with a little encouragement from Jesus, they begin to scan the crowd to see if anyone has brought any food. They’re able to locate a young person who has what would be the equivalent today of a sack lunch. Jesus takes the little amount of food, blesses and multiplies it and there’s more than enough to feed the entire crowd of several thousand as well as 12 basketballs of leftovers, enough baskets for each disciple to have his own basket full of the leftover miracle.
The disciples looked out at the vast crowds saw the enormous need and the human reaction is to throw up your hands and say there’s nothing I can do. Time after time Jesus looks at us as He did His first disciples and says I want to use you, you are going to help solve this problem and meet this need. For reasons known only to the Lord, He still chooses to work through his people to meet the needs of other people.
Am I willing to have eyes that see people as Jesus sees them? Am I willing to give him the little bit that I have, time, talent and treasure and allow Him to multiply it and bless it and use it for his purposes?
Remember singing “I surrender all?” Jesus wants our full surrender